Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Beach renourishment

My wife points out that we have a story in the paper this morning about beach renourishment that never really addresses why we have to worry about beach renourishment in the first place.

The answer: because barrier islands are rivers of sand. So long as you don't build anything on them, they move and flow and everything is cool. Put a house on it, though, and suddenly the natural movement of sand up and down the coast becomes a crisis.

Her point is that when we write about such things, when we tack on "nut graphs" (the newspaper term for short explanatory summaries), we do well to talk about the underlying issue, not just the politics.

My points: 1. This is true of more than just beaches; 2. There's a nice little taoistic lesson in here, somewhere.